Howdy, Stranger

Personality first and statistics second made Scott Patterson one of the more popular players on the Trenton Thunder during his two seasons in Mercer County.

In 2006 and 2007, the 6′ 6″ reliever made 69 appearances for Trenton after signing with the Yankees organization after starring for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League.  He’d had zero experience in affiliated ball before that, but a 2-0 record and 0.78 ERA in 20 games for the Barnstormers in 2006 forced the Yankees hand. 

In 2007, he forced the Yankees to call him up to Scranton at the end of the year after a solid season in Double-A.

And in 2008, he forced his way into the big leagues after a nice year in Triple-A.

After being acquired by the Padres and a subsequent trade to the Athletics, Patterson’s once again forced his way back into affiliated ball after beginning 2010 back in the Atlantic League with Lancaster.  Before he was bailed out of baseball jail by the Seattle Mariners a few days ago, I was fortunate enough to sit down with the man known as “The Stranger” for a few minutes to ask him about how things have been going…

Mike Ashmore: So take me through how things have gone for you since leaving the Yankees organization…

Scott Patterson: “It’s been good, it’s been going good.  I was with the Padres after that and had a pretty good last year, I was an All-Star.  Then I got traded to Oakland and had a pretty good finish with Oakland.  I ended up signing with Boston, and the best spring I’ve had was with them.  I only gave up two hits the whole camp, and no go.  They didn’t have any room, they signed three or four lefties that last week.  They didn’t want to get rid of me, but there was nothing they could do.  They tried to trade me that last week.”

Ashmore: Is there a certain level of surprise that you’re back here after what you accomplished in affiliated ball?

Patterson: “Very surprised.  I mean, how many guys go from being an All-Star in Triple-A to being in the independent leagues?  I don’t know, I don’t think a lot of guys do.”

Ashmore: Was there a part of you that didn’t want to come back and go through this all over again?

Patterson: “No.  When it happened, the day it happened with Boston, my agent said we’re going to get you somewhere.  He said it might take a little bit because everyone’s full.  But I didn’t think it would actually take this long.  After the season, there were a lot of teams that were going to sign me.  There were about four teams that were interested, so when it boiled down to it, there were a lot of teams that were going to sign me.  He said there were a lot of teams, so I’ll re-call them and see what they have, and they were all full.  When (Lancaster manager) Tommy (Herr) called me the day after, I was like, ‘Oh, no.’  I said, ‘I’ll get back to you, Tommy.  Hopefully I have a job by then.’  A week before I came here, I was in spring training and I was like, ‘Pssh, not again.  Please, I don’t want to come back.’  But I’m playing and I’m here.  Honestly, this league, being in Double-A and Triple-A, this league is as good as Triple-A.  Some days, it’s real good when you’re playing against a lot of big league guys.”

Ashmore: Have you been hearing things from teams during the season?

Patterson: “Yeah.  He’s been hearing things.  It boils down to there’s no room right now.  Have any pitchers left this league yet?  Hitters have been going left and right.  It was bad at first, but I’m playing, so I’m as long as I’m playing somewhere…”

Ashmore: I’d ask you if it’s tough to get motivated, but you clearly are…you’re the only guy out here running on the warning track about an hour before the game.  Seems pretty clear you still want it…

Patterson: “Yeah, definitely.  I’m the type of guy, where if I don’t get a workout in, I feel like I wasted my day.”

Ashmore: So how are things going for you on the field in Lancaster?

Patterson: “Good.  I’m pitching well.  I’ve got some saves, I’ve been pitching real well.  My last outing was a little hairy, but it was a non-save situation.  If you’ve seen our field, it actually is 295 (feet to right field), and two guys hit one off the top of the wall and they bounced out.  I had two outs, but then two solo shots.  But other than that, it’s been good.”

Ashmore: Is it kind of tough for you to come back in the sense that you had done so well when you were here a few years ago, and now you’re back and have a whole different slate of hitters you have adjust to?

Patterson: “You know what, when I was here, I’d try find a hitter’s hole and just pitch to it.  But now, I’m a lot of fastballs, curveballs; heaters and hammers.  I just pitch my game.  I let them adjust to me.  I have a good fastball, a good curveball.  Say there’s a guy that’s hitting very good, I’ll watch.  Earlier in my career, if I made a good pitch and someone hit it, I’d be mad at the world.  Now, all I can do is make my pitches.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

10 Responses to “Howdy, Stranger”

  1. Art Vandelay Says:

    Oh I’m sorry, I must have made a mistake I thought this was a Trenton Thunder Blog…maybe I should check out an Atlantic League Blog, maybe there will be a Thunder story on it.

  2. thunderbaseball Says:

    Oh Art…I could have just as easily made a post about some not so positive things that made news in the immediate area, but that’s not really worth the trouble it would cause, so I went with these instead. So, when you look at it that way, this isn’t so bad.

  3. whiteycat Says:

    I was happy to read your story. Scott is one of the nicest guys who ever pitched for the Trenton Thunder. It is always nice to know what former Thunder players are doing.

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